5 Classic Nollywood films by Tunde Kelani

Tunde Kelani, born on the 26th of February 1948 in Lagos state is an enigma. He was sent to Abeokuta, to live with his grandparents at an early age which afforded him firsthand access to Yoruba culture, literature, philosophy and arts.

He attended the Oke-Ona Primary School Ikija, Abeokuta, his secondary education was at the Abeokuta Grammar school. He was an apprentice for a photographer to learn more and master the craft before training as a cameraman at the former Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) for four years. Then he traveled to London where he attended the London Film School for a 2-year course on the arts and techniques of film making.

Tunde Kelani, founded Mainframe Productions in 1992 to promote the Nigerian culture and beliefs through quality movies. It is based in Lagos. 

His illustrous career spans over three decades. His first mainframe project was titled “The Dilema of Rev. Father Michael”, which he co-produced with the late Adebayo Faleti.

Here are top five Tunde Kelani movies you should watch or rewatch.


Saworoide depicts the setting of an old Yoruba norm in the town of Jogbo where a person can not be crowned king without a ritual which involves the playing of Saworoide (brass bell talking drum). It uses the Yoruba culture to depict how Nigeria has dealt with civil rule and military dictatorship.

2. O LE KU

Oleku is a love quadrangle of ASAKE, LOLA and SADE who got entangled in the circular relationship with AJANI, a final year university student seriously looking for a life partner due to pressures from his Mother. Oleku is a timeless classic movie, you should watch it again.


Maami is a story of a poor single parent’s struggles to raise her only surviving child, who eventually became an international football star, played Arsenal football club, and becomes a national hero. The movie about love, perseverance and fate.

4. Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt follows the story of Ngozi and Yinka who meet and fall in love during their National Youth Service. They eventually married, then soon developed countless problems fueled by rumors of extra-marital affairs, which destroys the trust between a devoted Ngozi and a jealous Yinka. Ngozi is laced with “Magun”, the diabolical chastity control, which will make her sexual victim die after sexual intercourse.

5. Ti Oluwa Ni Le

Ti oluwa Ni ile is a movie about Yoruba land, Traditional institution and Cultural heritage. A clique of land speculators enlists the help of a traditional chief to sell ancestral land fraudulently to a business man who plans to build a petrol station. The community resists, which ended in a modern law court. But then, in retribution, the culprits start dying one after the other in bizarre circumstances suggesting that they are linked in a chain of death.